At least 20 dead in suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria

20 people killed in apparent chemical weapons attack in Idlib province in Syria.

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/241563

Report: Syrian civilians injured in chlorine gas attack

Syrian activists say at least 11 people suffered chlorine gas poisoning during attack in Idlib province.

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/241551

Syrian activists say civilians hit by chlorine gas attack

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/syrian-activists-say-civilians-hit-by-chlorine-gas-attack-1.3789244

New Chemical Attacks in Syria: Daily Brief

https://www.hrw.org/the-day-in-human-rights/2018/02/05

This all sounds horrible. How could anyone use chemical weapons against their own populace? (Well, other than the “crowd control” chemicals that US law enforcement is happy to use in all manner of events, of course.) But I digress. This isn’t about US atrocities, it’s about Syrian and Russian atrocities, and how the US will respond.

So let’s get into it.

We were warned that Syria “may be developing” new chemical weapons at the end of January, start of February. Then suddenly, last Sunday, those attacks were allegedly unleashed. If true, that sounds pretty horrific.

State Dept. releases claiming new chemical attacks in Idlib province
State Dept. releases claiming new chemical attacks in Idlib province

But is it true?

Let’s look at history for some advice on that, shall we?

In August 2013, there were many chemical weapons employed in Ghouta, in the Damascus countryside. The US, UK, and many “human rights” groups immediately blamed the Assad government for the attacks.

The New York Times and CNN happily cited the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” for details. No one ever bothered to check that the SOHR is one man, who lives in Oxford, UK, not in Syria at all.

Even then, not everyone was convinced of Assad’s involvement.

The AP’s Kimberly Dozier reported that not everyone in the US administration was sure of a “slam dunk” concerning the allegations. Even The Independent, at the time, said the case was not made, and that the evidence did not support the assertions that Assad had attacked his own territories, albeit territory controlled by terrorist groups.

Most famously, Seymour Hersch took the entire operation apart piece by piece. His first notations of unnamed sources calling the event a “ruse” and reminiscent of the Gulf of Tonkin event are interesting, if useless.

He doesn’t stop there, however. He then goes to the timeline.

The first attack took place on August 21. President Obama was briefed later that day. On the 22nd, the last of the attacks occurred. On that day, Jen Psaki, a spokesperson for the State Department, told reporters:

‘We are unable to conclusively determine [chemical weapons] use. But we are focused every minute of every day since these events happened … on doing everything possible within our power to nail down the facts.’

Five days later, Jay Carney told reporters that any suggestions the Syrian government was not responsible ‘are as preposterous as suggestions that the attack itself didn’t occur’.

On August 29, the Washington Post published a “Black Budget” summary leaked by Edward Snowden. In the report, it was noted that the National Reconnaissance Office had chemical weapons detection in Syria, and would have known in advance if Assad was preparing rockets. Later, John Kerry would tell us that the US knew about the rockets being prepared as early as the 18th of August.

Despite all of this foreknowledge of the preparations, the US was unable, or unwilling to prevent the massacre, failing even to WARN the Syrian people that an attack was imminent.

Once being called out on this issue, a spokesperson for the Office of Director of National Intelligence said,

‘Let’s be clear, the United States did not watch, in real time, as this horrible attack took place. The intelligence community was able to gather and analyse information after the fact and determine that elements of the Assad regime had in fact taken steps to prepare prior to using chemical weapons.’

As usual, the facts continued to shift, while media coverage did not.

A UN report released on September 16 broke down the gathering of evidence and reported that two of the rockets used were intact enough that ballistics could determine the point of origin, and the New York Times, using “vector analysis” placed the site about 9-km away, and clearly in Assad-controlled territory. Theodore Postol, a professor of technology and national security at MIT, and his associate Richard M. Lloyd did their own analysis and determined that the rockets in question had a 2-km range, at best, and were likely overloaded with sarin canisters, making the range even shorter.

A few months later, the NYT would backtrack on their claims, in light of this new evidence. While admitting they had overestimated, the Times still pointed out that is was still possible that government forces had fired the rockets from a closer vantage, and that the new research was limited by “second-hand” data.

Going back a few months earlier, Syrian government positions had been hit by chemical weapons in March and April. The Syrian state media put the blame squarely of rebels, most notably al Nusra Front, labelled by the UN and the US as a terrorist organization. We’ll be hearing a lot more about them later. The UN report came back inconclusive as far as determining fault, but by summer the US was reporting varying degrees of certainty that Assad had carried out the attacks. The word was that Assad had crossed Obama’s “red line” and that retaliation was necessary.

Public opinion in the US suggested that Americans were highly suspicious and did not condone the proposed strikes. Finally, on September 10, Pres. Obama gave a press conference where he announced the US was working with Syria and Russia to destroy any remaining Syrian stockpiles of chemical munitions. A few weeks later, an agreement was signed to do just that. In the meantime, intelligence that al Nusra had the capability of making chemical weapons went unheeded.

Russia, however, delivered a 100-page report to the UN putting the blame for the March attacks squarely at the feet of rebel groups and not the Assad regime. A ministry statement was released saying the report, which was conducted under Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons protocols “is specific. It is a scientific and technical document.”

The statement went on to say that the Russians had broken the OPCW code of silence because they believed Western nations were “preparing the ground for military action” after the August attacks.

UK researchers at Porton Down sarin gas lab in Wiltshire, England were given clothing and soil samples from the August attacks. While the media happily ran with the story that the lab had found evidence of sarin, they ignored the part where that sarin was unlike the variant known to exist in Syria.

Porton Down Wiltshire England
Porton Down Wiltshire England

This is where things start to get interesting.

In April of 2013 al Nusra joined with al Qaeda to form a new force called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and later Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The group’s stated aim was the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad.

Note that in February of the same year, Secretary of State John Kerry announced a new round of funding for Syrian rebel groups. One State official said, “We are looking at ways to support the opposition and that includes the armed opposition to change Assad’s calculation and accelerate the political transition.” So the US goals were now aligned with the goals of ISIS in Syria.

Although shipments of weapons had been promised “within weeks,” it was several months later when overt shipments began. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) was “embarrassed” about the delay and pushed for even more weapons to be sent. The WaPo article goes on to mention the CIA involvement.

While the State Department is coordinating nonlethal aid, the CIA is overseeing the delivery of weaponry and other lethal equipment to the rebels.

The CIA shipments are to flow through a network of clandestine bases in Turkey and Jordan that were expanded over the past year as the agency sought to help Middle Eastern allies, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, direct weapons to moderate Syrian rebel forces.

The CIA declined to comment. (WaPo)

It was later revealed that the operation was codenamed “Timber Sycamore.”

So as of 2014, Bashar al-Assad’s military forces are facing US-backed rebels, ISIS, and the occasional air strike by Israel.

So who is providing the evidence of Assad’s use of chemical weapons?

We already know about SOHR. He admittedly is one guy scouring the web for information on Syria. That seems reasonable. Many of us do similar things. What seems unreasonable is the one-sided nature of his reporting. His claims of casualties always point the blame at Assad, a ludicrous claim in any “civil war.”

But the real stars of the show are the White Helmets.

Last Men in Aleppo poster
Last Men in Aleppo poster
The White Helmets film poster
The White Helmets film poster

 

If you have found yourself appalled at what is happening in Syria, or been moved to tears by the horrific images of dead children in Aleppo, you have come in contact with the White Helmets.

But who are they?

They are a group funded by the US and the UK, and founded by former British infantry officer James Le Mesurier. He claims to have rounded up “regular guys” from around Syria, though they are trained in Turkey, a country not exactly friendly to Syria or its residents.

They were originally called the Syria Civil Defense (SCD), usurping the title of Assad’s Civil Defense team, but over time took the mantle “The White Helmets.”

White Helmets logo
White Helmets logo

Remember “Dust Boy?”

"Dust Boy" Omran Daqneesh
“Dust Boy” Omran Daqneesh

The White Helmets saved this child and this photo went viral as a depiction of the horrors borne out by Assad’s forces on the people of Aleppo. These images went out, and funding came flooding in.

It turns out there is more to the story. Isn’t there always?

First, Omran was not the first person sitting in that chair to be photographed. 23-year old Ahmad was badly injured to the head and arm and was in the ambulance pictured. Just then, the smaller Omran was pulled out, and Ahmad was asked to leave the ambulance in order for Omran to take his place. Vanessa Beeley went and spoke with Ahmad’s father. Ahmad now fights for Assad’s SAA against the Daesh (ISIS).

Beeley also found Omran’s family. Thankfully, Omran is happy and healthy, living with his family, also still loyal to Assad’s leadership.

But what does any of this matter? If Syrian or Russian aircraft were bombing Aleppo, that’s the real problem, right?

Well, sure. If it was Syrian or Russian airstrikes.

Beeley asked Abu Omar, Ahmad’s father about the airstrikes.

“No, no it was not an airstrike. The terrorists were always targeting this area because of our loyalty to the government. They had already laid explosives in three of the houses I had built for my sons. They deliberately destroyed my property. On that night they had targeted our area with mortars.”

He reported that in 2016, al Nusra had taken over the local madrassa and was using it as a base of operations to shell Assad loyalists (derogatorily referred to as “Shabiha.”)

When asked by Eva Bartlett, Omran’s father recounted something simliar.

He heard no warplanes, and when hounded by terrorist-supporting media to say that it had been an airstrike, he challenged them to show him the remainders of the alleged airstrike munition. He said they had refused. (Bartlett)

More interesting yet is the photographer who snapped this well-known shot.

Mahmoud Raslan, who claims to be an independent journalist with the Aleppo Media Centre was also known to have been with the Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, a US-backed group, during a time they were displaying a teen boy. That boy is then beheaded in what the group called “an individual mistake.”

Raslan denies any ties, saying he just takes selfies with whomever he finds at the front lines.

So am I suggesting that The White Helmets may be connected to terrorist groups?

Vanessa Beeley certainly is.

The first video shows the Raslan evidence again. But it also has many testimonials from the injured in Aleppo telling reporters that the White Helmets only helped terrorists, while stealing from the residents. One man even claims his little girl was murdered by an injection of air. We’ll see something similar later.

But pay special mind to the 3:12 mark, where we see a White Helmets rescue being filmed for about 25 seconds before the director calls “action.” Yeah…. it’s like that.

If you noticed, there was also evidence that the White Helmets occupied the same buildings as al Nusra Front.

The following is a series of videos, showing the shared facilities of al Nusra, al Qaeda, and the White Helmets, including witness testimony.

This last video purports to show the head of the White Helmets in Syria praising and being praised by al Nusra for their propaganda work.

Here are just a few examples of the White Helmets “helping” victims. Note in this first video, that after much struggle, a small girl is pulled from under the rubble. Interestingly, she has not a scratch on her, nor does she nor her rag doll have any dust on them. Quite a feat considering she supposedly had been trapped for some time. At the end, note a small boy pulled from the SAME location.

Here’s where it gets even MORE interesting. Watch as the White Helmets help with an execution.

WARNING: GRAPHIC VISUALS!!!

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fd8_1430900709#q4iKA8AoBcMDQeJi.99

But now the best of all the videos. Again, this is VERY SENSITIVE in nature. It’s as bad as it gets, but this is the propaganda being used to support the regime change efforts.

Watch the video first, then we’ll look at the analysis by medical professionals.

Marcello Ferrada de Noli, chairman of Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR) submitted the video uploaded by the White Helmets to various Swedish doctors, including pediatricians in order to get a professional medical opinion on the “life-saving” techniques being employed.

The responses are unmistakable.

Dr Leif Elinder, author and specialist in pediatrics:

“After examination of the video material, I found that the measures inflicted upon those children, some of them lifeless, are bizarre, non-medical, non-lifesaving, and even counterproductive in terms of life-saving purposes of children.”

Dr Lena Oske’s statement to SWEDHR:

Intracutaneous injection with adrenalin may be used if any other resuscitation measure does not succeed. Especially under precarious circumstances – such as in field emergency settings– where safer ways for the administration of medication (i.e. endotracheal, intravenous, or intraosseus) might be difficult or unavailable. But not in the way shown in the video”.

“In order to perform the injection, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) has to be interrupted, and then the CPR resumed immediately after. Which is not done in the procedures shown in the video.”

None of these even refer to the macabre practice of stacking a child “to be saved” on top of his dead mother.

Despite these findings, when this video was shown to the UN Security Council, reactions were equally unmistakable.

UN Brought to Tears
UN Brought to Tears

Remember… these guys are still heroes!

Last Men in Aleppo poster
Last Men in Aleppo poster
The White Helmets film poster
The White Helmets film poster

 

If you weren’t yet convinced, check out this last video. It is from 2015, after al Nusra captured Idlib province. This is a victory celebration featuring al Nusra fighters and White Helmets together. At one point, a White Helmets hero even waves the al Nusra flag.

But hey, I’m sure it’s all fine.

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d4d_1494423698

Now let’s take a peek at some of the headlines I lead with.

Report: Syrian civilians injured in chlorine gas attack

Syrian activists say at least 11 people suffered chlorine gas poisoning during attack in Idlib province.

 Here’s the accompanying photo. Notice who is being “treated?” Yup, a White Helmets hero!
White Helmets Idlib attack
White Helmets Idlib attack

Syrian activists say civilians hit by chlorine gas attack

Let’s see… which activists?

“The Syrian Civil Defence search-and-rescue group said Sunday night that three of its rescuers and six others were injured by chlorine gas in Saraqeb, a rebel-held town less than 16 kilometres (10 miles) from the front line with government forces.”

Syrian Civil Defence, a/k/a The White Helmets.

What does this tell us? It tells us that AGAIN there was no attack. The White Helmets are embedded with al Nusra Front, al Qaeda, al-Zinki, and other terrorist groups, and it is these groups that are being “attacked.”

If Assad is truly killing off terrorists, isn’t that a good thing? Unless of course those terrorists are US allies.

But that’s ridiculous.

McCain and Leiberman in Syria
McCain and Leiberman in Syria
McCain and Syrian rebels
McCain and Syrian rebels

I know, I know. Slow down, we aren’t supporting al-Nusra, we are supporting Kurdish freedom fighters, especially the ones known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. They are definitely good guys, right?

Well, unless you consider their old names YPG (People’s Protection Units of “Rojava”), or what Turkey calls the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party).

The PKK is a designated terrorist group, according to Turkey, the EU, and the US.

But if Turkey claims the good guys are actually bad guys, what is the US to do? Maybe they could re-brand the YPG as the Syrian Democratic Forces. But again, that would be ridiculous.

OK, so what’s the point?

The point is simple. The lies are being told to the American people in order to support massacres in Syria, Turkey, and beyond.

Remember what happened as a result of the April “sarin gas attacks” in Khan Sheikhoun.

Or do you remember at all?

Here, let CNN tell you all about it.

So what did you learn? The first video shows a bunch of people with oxygen masks on, and a White Helmet jumping out of an ambulance with a child. 32 seconds in we see that “Initial reports from activists suggest an airstrike gave off a ‘poisonous gas’…”

49 seconds in we learn the town was “rebel held.” In fact it was held by al-Nusra Front, and therefore the White Helmets were already there.

Speculation? Well, the White Helmets leader says they were there in this interview with Czech media.

Also the official White Helmet twitter account posted on-the-ground photos.

So, yeah, they were there.

Back to the CNN video, just shy of the one-minute mark CNN tells us that “Activist groups are blaming the regime of Bashar al-Assad for the attack.” Again, White Helmets says so.

The video then tells us the Syrian government “categorically denies using chemical and poisonous material” in this incident.

So who is telling the truth? Did Syrian aircraft drop bombs? Well, yes. Everyone agrees that a Syrian SU-22 dropped bombs on Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017. Russian defense minister Igor Konoshenkov said that Syria had initiated a strike against a known chemical weapons depot controlled by al-Nusra (ISIS), and said the depot held and made the same weapons used in Aleppo.

So what we know now is that anyone killed in Khan Sheikhoun died as a result of chemical exposure, not because of any bomb containing chemical agents.

Don’t take my word though. Let’s check with the OPCW.

In November of 2017, Edmond Mulet, Head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (OPCW-UN JIM) gave a presentation concerning the chemical weapon attacks in 2016 and 2017.

“The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) was responsible for using sulfur mustard in a September 2016 attack in Umm Hawsh and the Syrian Government was accountable for the release of sarin in an April 2017 attack in Khan Shaykhun, the head of a Security Council-mandated investigation said Tuesday.”

Edmond Mulet OPCW
Edmond Mulet OPCW

So now we know the mustard agent attacks were ISIS, otherwise known in Syria as al-Nusra, buddies of the White Helmets.

But they seem to indict Assad for the Khan Sheikhoum incident, right?

“As for the 4 April incident involving sarin, it killed around 100 people in Khan Shaykhun. The Mechanism examined eight possible scenarios, including that the incident might have been staged to place responsibility on the Government of Syria, he said. The Mechanism has carefully put together pieces of a complex puzzle, of which some parts are still missing.”

“It could not establish with certainty that the aircraft which delivered the chemical bomb had taken off from Al Shayrat air base, or the type of plane involved. However, Syrian aircraft was in the immediate vicinity of Khan Shaykhun at the time of the bombing. The crater was determined by experts to have been most likely caused by the impact of an aerial bomb travelling at high velocity.”

So not only can the OPCW not verify where the plane may have come from (although it’s not been disputed), they cannot determine whether the bomb was chemical in nature or merely conventional weaponry.

He even says they have considered the possibility the event was a false flag.

Not very convincing all the way around. We know the rebels still have chemical stockpiles, and we assume Assad does as well.

Back one last time to the CNN article, we can see that only one photo shows anything like actual victims, and it was this photo that Nikki Haley would bring before the UN. Many have noted, including the leader of the White Helmets, that frequently “victims” were handled without protective gear, widely considered to be impossible when sarin is the chemical agent.

To the Western media, this is all deflection by the Russian media in blind defense of Assad.

But let’s take a step back.

March of 2017, the US had a very different stance.

US signals openness to Assad staying put

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